Cross Keys' Rhys Jones in Wales sevens squad
CROSS Keys’ Rhys Jones and Cardiff’s Newport-born Alex Walker are both in the Wales squad which kicks off this season's HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia this week.
Son of Newport Gwent Dragons forwards coach Kingsley Jones, the 26-year-old versatile back Rhys is vastly experienced and joined the Pandy Park side this season.
Scrum half Walker, 27, is also a seasoned player who made more than 40 appearances for the Newport Gwent Dragons.
Bridgend’s Adam Field is the only uncapped sevens player Wales take to the tournament which takes place on the Gold Coast between October 12 and 13.
Head coach Paul John has named an experienced squad which sees Pontypridd's Adam Thomas retain the captaincy.
From the squad which reached the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens staged in Moscow in June, Cardiff's Gareth Davies and Llandovery's Wales full international Adam Warren drop out.
Iolo Evans (Carmarthen Quins), Sam Cross (Cardiff Met) and Will Thomas (Cardiff) come into the equation.
Due to the World Cup, Wales's pre-season preparations have been reduced but John says his squad go into this week's opening tournament in high spirits after beating South Africa twice in the Middleburg Sevens to win the title at the invitational event.
"Selection has been very hard and very competitive – a lot of boys have just missed out which keeps pressure on the group which has gone and it's great that we now have competition right across the squad,” he said.
"The 12 boys in Australia are the guys who have put their hand up for the first tournament and the boys who have missed out will get another opportunity to impress before the next set of tournaments in Dubai and South Africa next month.
"Adam is the only new player and he has earned his spot. He took part in the GB Sevens series in the summer with our development group where he impressed playing centre and wing.
“He then came into our core group and he figured in Middleburg where he played two games against South Africa and once again did well – so he deserves his place in the squad.”
Wales sevens squad for Gold Coast Sevens: Adam Thomas (capt) (Pontypridd), Rhys Shellard (Pontypridd), Alex Webber (Pontypridd), James Davies (Scarlets & Carmarthen Quins), Lee Williams (Carmarthen Quins), Iolo Evans (Carmarthen Quins), Sam Cross (Cardiff Met), Alex Walker (Cardiff), Will Thomas (Blues Academy & Cardiff), Rhys Jones (Cross Keys), Adam Field (Bridgend), Chris Knight(Scarlets & Llandovery).
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